Over the past decade, Amsterdam has finally started playing with the big boys on the food and drink scene (check out our latest new openings round-up if you have any doubts). This means more openings, more competition, and better quality all around. Nowhere else is this quality more noticeable than in our beautiful bar scene. With plenty of glass, greenery, and interior bling, here are 16 Mokum spots to drink in scenic splendor, no beer goggles needed.
Amsterdam's 16 Most Beautiful Bars
This is what everyone should expect from a hotel bar: a modern, cozy interior, stunning views, and attentive service... with slightly elevated prices that you don’t feel too bad paying, everything else considered. There’s a terrace for warmer weather (not to mention a heated pool on the roof), and a central fireplace next to the bar for chillier evenings. Naming this one of our top date spots was a no-brainer.
The green and brown decor of this Reguliersdwars staple -- designed by Thijs Murré -- is admirably chic, with bold but natural colors and surprisingly pleasing details, like a giant snake skeleton dominating the bar area. In the summer, there’s a terrace to match. The locally sourced and seasonally focused French-led menu is usually good, though not always consistent. But like that pretty girl you wished would let you sit next to her in your high school cafeteria, you’ll forgive Ms. Noir for just about anything because, damn, is she fine.
Everything feels lighter the moment you pass through the dramatic art deco facade of this former film palace and into the bright-white cement cloud that is CT. Plants float on strings over the soft grey and taupe shadows of the vast wood-and-brick-textured space. The all-day kitchen comes up with eclectic numbers like venison with parsnip puree, a touch of white chocolate, red cabbage marmalade, and blood sausage, as well as a full menu of juices, wines, beers, teas, and (of course) plenty of coffee.
Tucked within the busiest block of the Ten Katemarkt, where you’ll find the Kanen bij Ten Kate food truck gathering every Thursday during the summer, it can be difficult to find the right entrance into Café Panache. The space is actually divided into a separate restaurant and bar. The smaller bar is luxe-looking, but we’re going to recommend you sidle up for a drink at the central bar of the larger restaurant area. There you'll fully enjoy the richly transformed industrial interior’s plants, wood, and leather textures, and birdcage lamps supplying pops of color. It's also where you can snag some food to go with your pitcher of the cocktail of your choice. (Yes, cocktails BY THE PITCHER.)
You’re paying for the view here with patience and pricy cocktails, so enjoy the eye candy. Floor-to-ceiling windows look out over the heart of the city and its watery surroundings for one of the most dramatic views of Amsterdam that you can enjoy with a boozy beverage. And that view only gets better when the weather cooperates, out on the massive terrace.
Popular with boaters who want to take a field trip to Amsterdam’s more Eastern aquatic havens, the massive Harbour Club (now the scion of a whole chain of spin-offs) has plenty of room inside and out. Inside, the decor varies by room, from red-backed pop art, to soothing layers of brick and brown leather. Outside, on the South Beach-style terrace, the view opens out on the water, boats, and modern Dutch architecture of the Eastern Docklands. Posh as it looks, the menu of seafood and steak isn't as expensive as one might expect... although there are plenty of big-ticket bottles, if that's more your style.
Dutch design house Moooi, led by famous designer Marcel Wanders, takes its name from the Dutch word for beautiful -- with one extra "o" -- and delivers on its promise. This whimsically detailed bar, located in the Andaz Hotel, boasts patterned velvet and decadent chandeliers as blue and shiny as its name would have you believe. The experience is best taken in with a bottle of bubbly.
It doesn’t matter whether you take your drinks in the lively Tunes Bar or the quieter (but arguably more stunning) Brasserie & Lounge. You’ll be imbibing with a side of “holy crap everything in here looks frickin’ amazing.” We suggest enjoying a drink in each, warming up in the light, airy Lounge before delving into the darker environs of Tunes’ shiny, elaborately shelved underworld vibe.
One of the few Eastern hotspots not part of the 3WO family, Walter’s was an early adaptor to Javastraat's gentrification efforts. Today, it still draws crowds with its lively scene, decent-enough food, and (especially) some cozy, tropical-lite indoor scenery. (Fun fact: the place is named after a photographer who became famous for his shots of Java, an island in Indonesia.)
Given its location in the art’otel, you know this bar is going to be beautiful. It actually covers a range of spaces, including a lounge and library, for cocktails and bites. The dark, dramatic decor, accented with lime-green, is full of cushy seating you'll want to sink into for at least one too many G&Ts while you ponder the abstractly sexual grotesques adorning the wall and table lamp.
Some things should be black and white, and the pleasingly graphic yet delicate interior of this hotel bar and restaurant is one of them. No matter how gloomy the Amsterdam weather is outside, here, you'll sit in a bright box that'll keep your eyes as busy as your taste buds.
Named one of the world’s top 10 train station restaurants and bars by The Guardian for its looks alone -- okay, also for its affordable menu and beer selection -- “First Class” has been faithfully restored to the 19th century lounge that once occupied this space. The many mini-arches of the impossibly tall ceiling are the real show-stopper, but the space between is well-used, too, with pattern-carved wood panels, foliage-filled murals, and elongated yet simple lighting suggestive of Art Deco.
Another product of Thijs Murré (remember Lion Noir?), BoCinq’s bar decor definitely outshines the restaurant with which it shares its name and space. From the spotlighted brick corridor housing the bar, to the quirky, oversized chairs of the lounge areas, the look and atmosphere of the space still draws crowds despite the cocktail game not being as strong as at some other bars.
The glitzy haute-Deco of the ‘20s roars to life in this generally packed bar, where the post-dinner clientele also screams 20s. There’s a wraparound terrace partially facing the water (popular with smokers as well as lunchers), but the real views are inside. Inspired by Art Deco painter and international icon Tamara de Lempicka, bursts of yellow light back the bar, highlighting a show-stopping stained-glass mural.
The lovelier, more accessible sister of Jimmy Woo (located right across the alley) is stylish from every angle, with brocaded walls in blood-red, studded with black-fringed lamps. You’ll enjoy it most, however, if you can land one of the tables in the back, away from the crowded bar, with views of the plant-filled glass wall. Don't try to Instagram it, though. Cell reception is crap.
More than just snobby sushi, the chalk-white bar is probably the best spot in the ‘hood to sidle up for a coffee or cheeky afternoon cocktail. By evening, things get a little more... crazy. However, open views of the clean white lines and minimalist Asian accents are replaced by some equally pleasing Amsterdam eye candy.
1. W LoungeSpuistraat 175,
2. Lion NoirReguliersdwarsstraat 28, Amsterdam
3. C.T. Coffee & CoconutsCeintuurbaan 282-284, Amsterdam
4. Café PanacheTen Katestraat 117, Amsterdam
5. SkyLounge AmsterdamDoubleTree by Hilton, Amsterdam
6. The Harbour ClubCruquiusweg 67, Amsterdam
7. Bluespoon Restaurant & BarPrinsengracht 587, Amsterdam
8. Conservatorium HotelVan Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam
9. Walter's - The Walter Woodbury BarJavastraat 42, Amsterdam
10. 5&33Martelaarsgracht 5, Amsterdam
11. Morgan & Mees2e Hugo de Grootstraat 2-6, Amsterdam
12. Grand Café 1e KlasStationsplein 15, Amsterdam
13. Bo CinqPrinsengracht 494, Amsterdam
14. Bar LempickaSarphatistraat 23-27, Amsterdam
15. Suzy WongKorte Leidsedwarsstraat 45, Amsterdam
16. MOMOHobbemastraat 1, Amsterdam
With a chic interior, this trendy drinks spot is definitely one of the trendiest locales within Amsterdam's night life. Come for the view and cocktails, but just make sure to bring your platinum credit card -- class comes at a price. Luckily, this is Holland, where the whole “going Dutch” thing got started... kidding. But this hotel lounge is a great pit stop for when you're sight-seeing-- it's super close to the Anne Frank House, Dam Square, and the Rijksmuseum, among other spots to hit up.
The rustic-chic interior of this Reguliersdwars bar features eclectic furniture set in natural tones, along with a large snake skeleton that dominates the bar area. The French-led menu at Lion Noir is seasonal, ingredients are locally sourced, and in the summer months, guests can enjoy an outdoor terrace.
Hiding behind the art deco facade of a former film palace, this bright, airy cafe with plenty of space is perfect for studying, casual get togethers, or dates. The all-day kitchen churns out elevated entrees, a number of juices, and an impressive selection of wines, beers, teas, and coffee.
With a menu that's driven by sustainable, seasonal, and local practices, Panache keeps it simple and fresh. Charcoal-grilled seasonal fish, lobster, meats, and veggies are among the highlights. The bar gives the option of ordering cocktails by the pitcher, making this a great place to go with a group. Not only is Panache happy hour friendly, but its dark, cozy interior also makes it a spot of note.
A lounge perched atop the balcony of the Hilton near Amsterdam's Centraal Station, SkyLounge lives up to its name. This bar is pretty pricey, but the food and drink (not to mention the view: killer floor to ceiling vistas of the entirety of Amsterdam, hello!) are definitely worth it. Globally influenced small plates and craft cocktails round out the menu.
As this makes their fifth location, The Harbour Club Kitchen is officially a chain. And this one has BBQ. If you're in the AMS and feeling homesick for Texan style smoked meats, look no further than The Harbour Club Kitchen. This resto's airy, modern interior is just as impressive as their plates, which while including American fare, do feature quite the round-up of globally inspired fare (sushi, sashimi, seafood, and pasta, for example).
This Canal Belt bar is located in the Andaz Hotel and it doles out terrific cocktails (a historic tour of libations inspired by pre-, during, and post-Prohibition classics). This classy resto and bar is situated within a gorgeous setting-- the interior ceiling is painted entirely in a vibrant blue with floor to ceiling glass windows looking out onto a on-site garden. Beautiful, intricate interlays decorate the walls and delicate flower arrangements provide the finishing touch.
This beautiful five-star hotel offers modern, yet classically styled rooms, an acclaimed restaurant and bar, as well as a spa, shopping arcade, and a cigar shop with a massive walk-in humidor. Guests have the option of enjoying their drinks in the lively Tunes Bar or the intimate -- and beautiful -- Brasserie & Lounge
Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, as well as drinks, the Eastern-fusion menu is inspired by the Javastraat’s traditional multi-culti mix. Plus, there’re tons of beers to choose from... and wide selection of G&Ts, natch.
One of the most unique spots in the city, 5&33 is a restaurant, bar, AND art gallery. The dark, cushy interior offers several places to sip its cocktail concoctions (with a special emphasis on G&Ts and five types of rum & Coke), from the lounge to the library. And if you're hungry, out try out the Med-style small sharing plates.
This Oud West hotel restaurant impresses with its black-and-white stylings and minimalistic, modern bar. Expect French-style fare (from sea bass ceviche to sandwiches), and expect it to be tasty. Plus plenty of French, German, Spanish, and Italian wines to choose from.
Occupying the space that once was Centraal Station's 1881 waiting room, 1e Klas is a brasserie-style bar/restaurant in Art Nouveau digs. It's abundantly clear why this eatery -- with an affordable menu and beer selection, high ceilings, and many mini-arches -- is one of The Guardian's top ten train station restaurants.
This sleek and classy restaurant/bar serves mesmerizing French/Arabic dishes and delicious craft cocktails. Enjoy Bo Cinq's bar bites and libations in its dimly lit, spacious lounge, which is filled with plush, oversized couches and chairs. Be sure to admire the bar, which is housed by a brick corridor.
Inspired by Art Deco painter and international icon Tamara de Lempicka, this glamorous brasserie and cocktail bar in Weesperbuurt has a Roaring Twenties vibe with its golden light and stained glass mural. Bar Lempicka also features wraparound terrace with water views, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and libations.
More affordable than her brother, Jimmy Woo (located across the alley), Suzy Wong is a stylish bar with brocaded walls and blood-red lamps. In addition to the usually crowded bar area there is more intimate seating in the back, with views of a plant-filled glass wall. Cocktails and creative shots dominate the menu, which also includes casual bar bites.
This bright, sleek, minimalist bar/restaurant in the Museum Quarter is perfect for a casual cup of coffee or a more intimate dinner and cocktail. MOMO's menu is dominated by elevated Asian fusion dishes (such as bento boxes and small plates), and and impressive wine, champagne, and cocktail selection.